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Page added on August 19, 2011

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Our Favourite 2011 Calgary Stampede Shows

By Mark & Marietta Dutkoski

Yihaah!!! Happy  Stampede-ing Calgarians  and everyone from out of town and country who joined the celebration of “ The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. The  Stampede is an incredible  10 days that help define city  of Calgary and showcase  the heart of the new west’s  hospitality, love of fun and enthusiasm.  It is also the 10 days in July  that show the country and world how special Calgary is as a  city. The tradition lives when  boots and cowboy hats are the most sought after attire.  During the Calgary Stampede, Calgarians and visitors celebrate the unique western heritage and values. The entire city and surrounding areas get  into the cowboy spirit in a large scale.  Most Calgarians plan these days with fun, games and entertainment in mind. Visiting the Stampede grounds for 10 days isn’t  a free ride and can get very expensive, specially when you are a family. But for individuals who plan in advance, it can be  a very reasonable and fun packed event without breaking the bank.

Before the actual stampede, there are plenty of discounted admission  coupons  being offered around  the city to enhance the public’s visiting pleasure. On top of it, there are plenty of Stampede attractions whose fee is included in the cost of admission. Attending these shows can really reduce the money you spend, without compromising your daily entertainment! Not all attractions  are related to cowboys and horses, but all are plenty of fun!

1. No Horses, Plenty of Cowboys!!

This is the theme of the Bell Mobility stage, which had three main acts – High Dive, Trampoline and Motor cross.

a. The high dive act begins with impressive demonstrations of difficult dives. The show is interrupted by what appears to be a drunken heckler, who jumps across the front barrier, climbs up the ladder, and performs the most humourous dives of the day! He was part of the act all along, but he had many people fooled for quite awhile!

b. The trampoline performers were equally talented, and they also introduced apparently unwilling participants – one from the crowd, and another who was scrunched up in a bag! Their routine was typical French Canadian slapstick, with the leader knocking his head against the wall in an apparent mis-cued maneuver!

c. Motorcross had to be the craziest of all the performances! These young men, some having X-Games credentials, truly wowed the crowds with their hair raising stunts! All of their motorcycle jumps were 30 feet high, and 40 feet in length. But the crazy part was what they did with their bikes while in the air. They performed back flips, and all sorts of maneuvers where the driver twisted, moved ahead of handlebars, hung onto the back seat, then resumed the seating position just before landing.

2. Youth Talent Show

Each year we attend the finals of this competition and never regret this decision. Most of the finalists were singers, but there were many instrumentalists along with a yoyo artist who actually won the competition! This event did have a slight cowboy flavour, since one of the singers performed a country and western tune. The contestants are truly impressive with the command of their talent demonstrated at such a young age. All singers would turn heads anywhere they sang, the instrumentalists make crowds go silent, and the novelty acts are just plain fun to see!

3. Enmax Ice Show

This extravaganza had it all! Ice skating talent such as Canadian Olympic Gold Medalists Jamie Sale & David Pelletier, along with an Argentinean Malambo Dancer, plus many acrobatics performed from a high trapeze, all in Cirque de Soliel style. The lights and live music complemented it all perfectly!

4. TransAlta Grandstand Show

This year’s grandstand show seemed to outdo all previous grandstand shows, but unlike the other attractions mentioned above it requires an additional fee.  In spite of the additional fee, the grand spectacle performance and the fireworks  are comparable to Las Vegas shows. The 2011 Transalta  Grandstand show presentation is called “Volte” – an electrifying whimsical dreamscape with hundreds of dazzling costumes, similar to cirque de soleil acrobatics, with lots and lots of children included in the act. Of course there was a trampoline act, plus a 40 foot wire-like human figure with a ball in its hand that had a live acrobat performing somersaults and other maneuvers. Live horses pranced on stage in between pyrotechnics which kept the audience engaged throughout the entire show!

Stampede maybe synonymous with rodeo and chuckwagon  competitions, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.  You will be amazed to find out that this 10 day celebration is crunched with numerous entertainment events with enough diversity to satisfy everyone. If you have not seen any or most of these shows, place it in your “must see” list for the Stampede’s 100th year  celebration in 2012.


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